For those of you who are not quite sure what the Confederate flag truly means, here is a brief history. In the 1800s, the southern states in America, or the Confederacy, decided to fight for their freedom from the Union so that they could continue to have the right to own slaves. The war went on for four years until the Union officially beat the Confederate soldiers and helped lead to the freeing of the slaves... Which leads me to the purpose of this article: the significance of the flag.
Lately, there has been a lot of outrage over the use of the Confederate flag, and many people are struggling to understand what the big deal is. For those of you who feel that this anger is misdirected, let’s go back in time. Based on history alone, the flag is a clear symbol of white supremacy, which is not an ideal that are country has grown to support. America has been known as the “melting pot” of the world because of its incredible diversity as a nation, and waving around that flag takes away from the strength in that diversity.
Now, I know that some people are saying that their support of the flag is nothing but “Southern pride” and that they are just showing their appreciation for their ancestors who fought for the Confederate States of America, but let’s just stop and think about that argument. If you saw someone with a swastika bumper sticker, and they said to you, “Oh, I’m German. I’m just showing pride for my ancestors who fought in the German party during WWII,” you would look at them like they are insane and immediately question their understanding of world history. That is exactly how I and other minorities (and white people, too) feel about the support of the Confederate flag. We understand that you want to support your ancestors, but there are some instances when it’s immoral to show support. This is one of those cases.
You cannot parade around with a Confederate flag and claim that you’re not racist. I don’t care if you’re from the South and you’re supporting your rich Southern history; that flag represented the idea of white supremacy being moral, and you cannot deny that. Minorities have fought for years to gain their freedom and their right to be treated just as well as the white people. By showing support for the Confederate flag, people are basically letting the minority community know that they will never be completely welcome.
So, for everyone who was offended by President Obama’s denouncing of the Confederate flag or didn’t understand why people were putting so much focus on such an “insignificant issue,” I hope that you can open your eyes to the bigger picture. Yes, it is only a flag, but it’s not just the flag that people are upset about. It’s the ignorance behind the flag that is upsetting. America is a land of diversity and freedom, and by using that flag, we are sending an entirely different message.
Author's note: I know that people are going to disagree with my view on this topic, but this is just the opinion of one minority woman who feels fearful for herself and her family whenever she sees this flag being used. I know that the flag represents the Confederacy, but the Confederacy represented a group of white people who were willing to secede from the nation just so that they could continue to be the dominant race, and that's not something I can support.